When I heard Netflix was releasing an original documentary, Mitt, about Mitt Romney’s back-to-back failed campaigns for the presidency in 2008 and 2012, I was certainly intrigued. Now that I’ve seen it, I can say that I didn’t expect to find out that despite his caricatures in the media as a flip-flopper, a Mormon, and a wealthy white male out of touch with much of America, Mitt Romney is a man who, at his core, puts his family, his beliefs, and his spirituality first in a real way. As the credits roll, you can’t help but feel bad for this man whose dreams of the presidency were crushed, not once but twice.
I also didn’t expect the Mitt documentary to be an incredible Apple commercial, and yet it pretty much is.
When the documentary starts it is 2006, and Mitt sits with his family discussing the pro’s and cons of his idea to run for president. As it continues through 2008, with Mitt’s failed bid to secure the Republican nomination against steep competition from the likes of McCain and Giuliani, the modern smartphone has yet to be invented. Tablets are still years off. And Mitt doesn’t stand a chance.
And then, suddenly, it’s 2012 and Mitt is the candidate of choice, and neither he or is staff is ever seen again without at least a few iPhones, a couple of iPads, and a few random Macs in almost every frame of the documentary.
While watching (and enjoying!) Mitt, I couldn’t help but notice just how many of Apple’s devices featured prominently in the documentary, how deeply these phones and tablets have worked their way into the very fabric of our day-to-day life. What it comes down to is the contrast between 2006 and 2012. It’s amazing that the filmmakers worked for so many years with Mitt, and when the documentary jumps from the 2008 election suddenly into the present day, I couldn’t help but be surprised to see just how much the technology we use has changed, even in the lives of the rich and powerful.
A major iPhone appearance comes two hours before the second presidential debate. Rather than furiously preparing, Mitt and his family are sitting around the kitchen table in their hotel room, listening to one of the funniest episodes of popular radio show This American Life. You know, the one where David Sedaris tests the “Stadium Pal”, the bag of urine you attach to your leg so you don’t have to leave your seat when you’re at a football or baseball game.
And how are they listening to that classic TaL episode? By streaming a podcast of the episode from an iPhone’s tiny speakers.
Later, after what Mitt Romney believes to be his first real debate loss to President Barack Obama, a tense argument unfolds between father and son about which terminals have food courts at LaGuardia Airport. (seriously, this happens).
How do they settle the debate? Mitt’s son pulls up the terminal map on, you guessed it, his iPhone.
Even Mitt’s “computer” of choice isn’t a computer at all—it’s an iPad with a keyboard dock:
In his final campaign stops, Mitt is filmed by friends and fans everywhere he goes—almost exclusively by people on their iPhones.
On the presidential hopeful’s jet, Mitt’s staff is working furiously on the last day of the campaign… on their Macs.
And in the final scene, as the Romney family attempts to come to grips with their campaign’s loss to Obama in the 2012 elections, Mitt and his son can’t help but constantly check in on the poll results… on their iPhones:
Did you see Mitt? Were you struck by how profoundly technology changed between the 2008 Presidential campaign and the 2012 one? Leave a comment below and let me know what YOU thought!